After being severely injured in a raid for Earth oil by the Decepticon Shockwave, computer genius Josie Beller was left paralysed in both legs and one arm. She developed cybernetic implants and an outfit that allowed her to not only move, but disrupt a robot's circuitry, causing it to malfunction and break down.
When her employer, industrialist G.B. Blackrock was about to unveil a robot destroying weapon following the capture of some of his operations by the Decepticons (including the oil rig where Josie was crippled) Jose (as Circuit Breaker) offered her services to Blackrock, who refused because he did not want her to be hurt by robots again. The next day (after forging an alliance with the Autobots) Blackrock's weapon was sabotaged by Circuit Breaker, who then began to pressure Blackrock to tell the public she was his new weapon. Before he could do so, the Decepticons Starscream and Frenzy attacked the presentation, and soon found themselves battling the Autobots Jazz and Wheeljack. Circuit Breaker, not wanting to see a distinction between the two factions attacked both Autobot and Decepticon indiscriminately, until convinced by Blackrock to spare the Autobots after the two Decepticons fled the scene. Sparing Jazz and Wheeljack's life, Circuit Breaker left Blackrock, informing him her debt to him had been repaid.
Sometime later, during the holiday season when Jazz was driving his human companion Buster Witwicky home, they get into a car accident because of the weather. Circuit Breaker witnesses the accident and believes that Jazz purposely endangered Buster and attacked him. However, Buster is able to convince Circuit Breaker that Jazz didn't purposely harm him and she spares his life for a second time.
Circuit Breaker would later join a government group known as the Rapid Action Anti-Robot Team (RAAT), which was funded and organized by the government agency known as Intelligence and Information Institute (III), and would operate under the command of RAAT leader Walter Barnet.
Her first mission would be aiding in the capture of seven Autobots: Beachcomber, Blaster, Cosmos, Perceptor, Powerglide, Seaspray and Warpath who were accidentally transported to Earth following a battle against Decepticon Lord Straxus on a device called the "Space Bridge" which was a transportation device that could bridge the gulf between the planets Cybertron and Earth. Following the Autobots capture they were disassembled and examined, their technology would be reverse engineered to create high tech weapons for RAAT to combat all robots.
When out-of-work comic book writer Danny Finkleberg become a pawn of RAAT, posing as a terrorist known as the Robot Master (to give the public image that the robots were controlled by a human) he soon became a prisoner of the Decepticons and were freed by the Autobots. Who in turned forced him to help them find their missing comrades, by holding a cheque he had earned for his stint as Robot Master. Finkleberg's greed tempted him to try and sell his Autobot companion Skids to RAAT, which also garnered the attention of the Decepticons who sent their Stunticons to attack.
When RAAT arrived with Cirucit Breaker, they saw that Skids was being "protected" by the Stunticons when the Aerialbots arrived ("disproving" Danny's claim that there was a distinction between Autobots and Decepticons in Circuit Breakers mind)
Circuit Breaker would then captured Autobots Air Raid, Fireflight, Silverbolt, Skids, Skydive and Slingshot. The Stunticons, Danny and Skids would then make their escape, however Danny would eventually betray Skids and sell him off to RAAT. Because of this, Danny would be put on the RAAT payroll.
Circuit Breaker and RAAT would next get involved in a series of strange incidents involving two Decepticons (Runabout and Runamuck) who were following a family on their vacation across America, and would spray paint threats, insults and challenges to the humans. During this time, Danny would convince Circuit Breaker to use all the capture robots, jury rigging them into one giant being, to fight back the two Decepticons. Defeating them (but not before they defaced the Statue of Liberty, with graffiti proclaiming that "Humans are Wimps!"), Circuit Breaker then agreed to free the Autobots, which would cost her and Danny their jobs at RAAT.
During the time out of the public eye, Circuit Breaker presumably established a method of operating independently,
she would reemerge when news reports came out about a creature called Skullgrin, an entity believed to be a Yeti-Sasquatch-like being who was in fact a Pretender Decepticon (a Decepticon who wears an outer shell making him appear to be a member of another species). Skullgrin, in order to gain oil for the Decepticons, agreed to allow a film producer to use him in a production, in return for oil as payment. Nobody but Circuit Breaker would suspect that Skullgrin was really a Transformer.
Circuit Breaker suspected Skullgrin to be a Cybertronian, going to California to investigate him. She had a glimpse of Skullgrin at a press conference held by the producer, but could not be certain if Skullgrin was a Transformer or not. However, she did run into Carissa Carr, who was to appear in the film with Skullgrin. Circuit Breaker, whom Carr believed to be a harmless physically challenged person, discovered that the filming with Skullgrin would commence in a couple of days at the Grand Canyon. During the making of the film at the Grand Canyon, Skullgrin took off his Pretender shell. Seeing this from nearby, Circuit Breaker finally had irrefutable proof that Skullgrin was a Transformer, and jumped into combat. She took control of Skullgrin's Pretender shell and attacked him with it. During the skirmish between Circuit Breaker and Skullgrin, Carissa Carr was caught on a crumbling cliff, but Skullgrin selflessly rescued her, though it gave Circuit Breaker the chance to press her attack. Before she could totally destroy Skullgrin, the Hollywood producer who had been dealing with Skullgrin called out to Circuit Breaker. He informed her that his workers taped her battle with Skullgrin, and that he would pay her a fortune to slay Skullgrin in front of the camera. Circuit Breaker, disgusted at the producer's greed destroyed the camera and left. Circuit Breaker would once more disappear and not resurface for quite some time.
She would later appear seeking to get the aid of a young man named Hector who could channel the energies of the Earth. This would bring her into conflict with the Decepticon Starscream, and G.B. Blackrock and his super-powered agents called the Neo-Knights. Eventually, Hector and Circuit Breaker would join the Neo-Knights and they would combine their powers against Starscream and fight him off.
Later, the Neo-Knights would get involved in a battle between two warring factions of Decepticons (and the Autobots caught in the middle) which threatened to destroy New York City. This battle would be interrupted when the Transformers were all summoned to Cybertron by their creator Primus, in order to battle Unicron. Faced with the idea of being on an entire planet of robots, Circuit Breaker would fall into a catatonic state. Later, when the Transformers were losing their fight against Unicron, Circuit Braker is goaded by G.B. Blackrock to fight back against Unicron, and somehow managed to generate enough power to temporarily stun the demigod long enough for a counter attack, which would ultimatly lead to Unicron's destruction. Circuit Breaker would return to her comatose state.
She and the other Neo-Knights, along with Hi-Q (the Powermaster component of Optimus Prime who was left behind when Prime sacrificed his life to destroy Unicron) would then be confined to a cell until the Transformers were ready to return them home. The Knights (along with the still comatose Circuit Breaker) would be left behind on Cybertron (which is in the throes of destruction) when Hi-Q convinced them that he was also Optimus Prime (Prime's mind had merged with Hi-Q's body when his own was destroyed) to find the Last Autobot, which could save Cybertron from destruction. The Knights eventually managed locate the Last Autobot, save Cybertron, and resurrect Optimus Prime. What happened to Circuit Breaker and the Neo-Knights remains unknown, but it is presumable that they were returned to Earth following Cybertrons restoration.
Circuit Breaker employs a special circuitry mesh that covers her whole body, this mesh reproduces and replicates the functions her damaged nervous system used to provide. Without this suit, she is paralyzed and only has slight mobility of her right hand.
In addition, the suit allows her to fly via magnetic repulsors, fire bolts of energy that can destroy, or disrupt electronic machinery, as well as collect encrypt, change and steal data from any electronic device.
The exact limitations to her abilities are unknown, in most cases her powers seemed to be strong enough to merely stun and cause circuit damage in average sized Transformers, however in one instance she was capable of generating enough power to stun Unicron for a few moments.
When she was an employee of RAAT she had access to their resources which included many devices that would aid in the incapacitation and capture of Transformers.
Additionally she once constructed a giant robot out of thirteen Autobots which was fully under her control (but some how managed to act independently as well) it utilized each Autobot's powers, and had detachable fists which would fly independently of the main body.
When posing as a disabled person, Circuit Breaker would use a wheelchair and a handi-capable RV.
- There is another Josie Beller from a reality divergent from Earth-120185, designated Earth-91274. With the exception of her encounter with Jazz and Buster Witwicky on Christmas, this version of Josie Beller has an identical history to her Earth-120185 counterpart.
- Further, according to the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Volume 1 trade paperback, it has been identified that the Circuit Breaker that appeared in Secret Wars II #3 and encountered the Beyonder was native of Earth-616. This version of Josie Beller also was crippled by robots and had a deep rooted hatred of them. Although the footnote in this issue regarding Circuit Breaker's hatred of robots is cited as happening in Transformers #6, the Handbook implies that since this Josie of Earth-616 was crippled some other kind of robots as Transformers are only native to Earths -120185 and -91274 respectively. In terms of publication, it was originally intended that the Transformers would be part of the mainstream Marvel universe, much like other licensed characters such as Rom and Godzilla, as is evident with the guest-appearance of Spider-Man in Transformers #3, however, following Circuit Breaker's appearance in Secret Wars II #3, all connections were severed.
- Circuit Breaker would also be colored with red hair in some issues.
- Appearances of Josie Beller (Earth-120185)
- Minor Appearances of Josie Beller (Earth-120185)
- Media Josie Beller (Earth-120185) was Mentioned in
- 2 Images featuring Josie Beller (Earth-120185)
- Quotations by or about Josie Beller (Earth-120185)
- Character Gallery: Josie Beller (Earth-120185)
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